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Riley Directs Focus to Second Term

By Associated Press

Montgomery, AL – Bob Riley adds the title of two-term governor today (Monday). But with potential presidential candidate John McCain attending the inauguration, Riley is trying to stymie speculation that he wants to trade his new title for vice presidential candidate next year.

Riley says he is not interested in running a national campaign in 2008 or leaving the governor's office before the end of his new four-year term. Riley and McCain visited U-S- troops in Iraq early last year. McCain also donated 10-thousand dollars to Riley's re-election campaign and stumped across the state in October to help him win a second term. Now, the talk is heating up again with McCain planning to be on the Capitol steps today when Riley takes the oath of office for a second term.

When reporters bring up presidential politics, Riley tries to quiet the talk by recounting his goals for his new term. They include:
-- Raising Alabama's income tax threshold for a second time.
-- Removing the state income tax from the first 10-thousand dollars of taxable retirement income.
-- Giving workers a tax break for returning to school to learn new skills.
-- Providing a tax break to help small businesses provide health insurance to their employees.
-- Putting distance learning labs and offering at least eight Advanced Placement courses in every Alabama high school, no matter how small or how remote.

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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